Leadership is hard and if you don’t know why you’re doing it then it can feel downright miserable making even the greatest job feel draining, frustrating or exhausting. When you don’t have meaning in your work you may very well have misery instead…and that’s no good for you, your teams or your organization. I would imagine that you, like most leaders I’ve worked with, took on the role because you felt like you’d be a pretty awesome leader that could motivate, knock down obstacles and make a real difference for the people you work with...but seriously…no one said it would be this tough.
Most take on leadership roles with good intentions but very few leaders ever take the time to really connect their own personal mission…their own “why”…to their work as a leader. Why is this important? Because when you align your personal mission with the mission of your organization, doing work that you believe in…then you won’t just lead…you’ll inspire…because you will be inspired! Inspired leadership changes everything about how you show up for your team, your organization and yourself.
Inspiring your team
How you lead your team will be directly reflective of what you believe of the organization’s mission and how it aligns with your own personal mission. If you don’t have any personal commitment beyond the paycheck to what you’re doing or why you’re doing it then you will likely be little more than a manager providing direction and ‘getting things done.’ What you won’t be is inspiring or influential. You won’t be living out your own personal mission, using your gifts and growing people…and that’s just not the kind of leader …or human…you were meant to be.
When you take time to identify your own personal mission and connect the dots with your work you won’t just believe in the mission of your work…you’ll own it. You will have a personally vested interest in developing your team and watching them grow in service of the greater purpose. You will naturally be more supportive than critical because they are your team meeting goals and outcomes that you personally feel responsible for achieving. You want them to succeed and they will feel it.
Having mission alignment will also affect how you interact with your peers. If you believe that your peers, supervisors and others within the organization are also leading with mission, you are likely to provide more grace and assistance than defensiveness or cynicism. Your development, support and belief in the mission will shine through everything you do as a leader and inspire those around you.
If your mission is aligned with the organization’s, running your department also feels personal. You are a good steward of the resources you have because you feel a responsibility to your budget, staffing, etc. You will question pricing, be less wasteful, seek out and implement cost-saving opportunities and approach schedules and staffing more creatively. You might take it personally when a vendor will not negotiate or you learn you’re being over-charged. You will have less tolerance for employees that consistently fail to show up for the team and greater appreciation for the effort put in by others. You will demonstrate through day-to-day operations that the mission matters – this is inspirational.
Inspired service to your customer
No one will have to tell you how to serve your customers when you have mission alignment. You will live it! Your personal mission combined with that of the organization will permeate all you do and it will be evident in every customer interaction you have. It will drive the standard for what you expect of your team in serving the customer. You will naturally lead by example and hold your team accountable to the standards that you set and demonstrate. If serving your customer is your mission, then having alignment will make you an inspiration rock star for your customers and those working with you!
Mission alignment is powerful
Knowing your personal mission and aligning it the mission of your work as a leader can have a powerfully positive impact on your engagement and personal fulfillment while advancing the purposeful objectives of the organization. However, the opposite is also true. If you don’t have meaning you might have misery, which will do little for your personal well being, your career and the people that choose to follow you. Take time to explore your own personal mission, connect it to your work and be the inspiring, influential and fulfilled leader that you desire to be!
Posted on Thu, September 8, 2016
by Angie Noel filed under